A JOURNEY TO MIDDLE-EARTH…PART FOUR:

A JOURNEY TO MIDDLE-EARTH:

NEW ZEALAND, NORTH ISLAND, DECEMBER 2011.

PART FOUR:

Wednesday: December 21st… Location, Location, Location…Wellington and Surrounds.

Early start, early breakfast… Jack Machiela picked us up at 8:45 a.m. to take us on a Flat Earth Tour of Lord of the Rings Movie Locations around the Wellington. We picked up three English travellers, Dennis, Cheryl and Callum, who would join us on this excursion which would include an exciting occasion later in the day.

Our first stop was on the bank of the Hutt River where the Fellowship paddled in their canoes down the Anduin River.

Jack M. Tour Guide extraordinaire.

Hutt River

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing our drive, we crossed the Rimutaka Range and then entered Kaitoke Regional Park where the forest and trees were used as the back drop for Rivendell. Here we took some photos including where Legolas stood for a publicity photo. The Park is a lovely well looked after area with natural bushland and crystal clear streams.

It was here Jack received a phone call inviting us to the TV1 Studios later that afternoon for a special surprise. The first release of The Hobbit Trailer.

Just NOT Legolas

Measuring a Hobbit’s height.

Ford of Isen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following the winding road which took us through Wairarapa Gorge and over Rimutaka Hill we came to the town of Featherstone on the other side of the range.

Wairarapa Gorge

 

Here we visited the grounds of the Georgian style mansion where scenes from the movies were filmed. The large white house is surrounded by lawns, beautiful gardens and groves of trees.

 

Fernside grounds.

Fernside House

 

The small lake and white bridge on the grounds were used for the filming of the departure of the Fellowship from Lothlorien. The lake was also used to film the Gladden Fields, where Smeagol killed Deagol and took the gold ring he had found.

Galadriel waves farewell.

 

The Fellowship depart Lothlorien.

 

 

After our visit to Fernside we went to Greytown where we enjoyed a delightful lunch with a Christmas Theme, crackers, hats and decorations.

NZ Christmas Tree… :-)

Lunch at Greytown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We retraced our journey across the Rimutaka Range to Harcourt park. Here we viewed the places used for the filming of Isengard, when Gandalf went to visit Saruman.

Two wizards walk in the gardens.

Harcourt Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next was our visit to the TV1 Studios for our viewing of the Hobbit Trailer. This would be an occasion to remember.

Today we would be the first fans to view Sir Peter Jackson’s release of the first official trailer for The Hobbit, an Unexpected Journey.

 

 

Christmas treat for Hobbit fans | Breaking & Daily News, Sport & Weather | TV ONE, TV2 | TVNZ

 

 

 Following our visit to the TV Studio we went to Mirimar and visited the Weta Cave to view all the wonderful figurines, environments and other merchandise, much of which is still  available to the public for purchase.

Frodo visits Weta.

Grrr! Merry Christmas.

 

 

 

Late afternoon found us on Mount Victoria and here locating more movie locations. Jack pointed out a number of sites, including the tree Frodo and Sam sat in when they heard the Elves singing and of course the “Get off the Road!” location.

Get off the Road????

I can hear singing.

 

 

Jack returned us to our Inn and we couldn’t thank him enough for giving us a fantastic day. We made arrangements to join him the following evening at The Embassy Theatre Cafe for a Fellowship gathering.

Our fabulous day was not quite over. We went to downtown Wellington and enjoyed a “Huge” meal at The Green Parrot which was a regular dining place for Viggo Mortensen and other cast members. On the wall of the restaurant is a giant mural of celebrities who have dined there including some familiar faces from the cast and crew of The Lord of the Rings.

A JOURNEY TO MIDDLE-EARTH: Part Five…

Zealandia, Beaches and the Fellowship Gathering… To be continued.

 

 

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